Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) through its tax school, has announced plans to train more tax and customs professionals as it seeks to deal with sophisticated tax evasion tactics of the rich and dodgy corporates.
In a new drive meant to not only address rampant tax cheating habits among Kenyans, but also to meet its tax obligation, the tax collector has lined up several public institutions including Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and State officers for tax drill in partnership with the Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA).
Speaking during KESRA’s 18th graduation, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i urged government agencies to lead from the front by paying their due share of taxes.
“I also urge them to take advantage of the programmes offered by KESRA to train their personnel, including Board members, CEOs, heads of Finance, HR and procurement on the mechanisms of staying compliant,” said Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on Friday during KESRA’s 18th graduation.
About 625 graduates who trained on matters tax, customs, fiscal policy and management were conferred with certificates, diplomas, postgraduate diplomas and master’s certificates.
KESRA is ranked the largest of the four World Customs Organisation (WCO) training institutions for East and Southern Africa under which banner it trains for 24 countries.
Further the authority is keen to widen the tax base and will target key sectors in manufacturing, banking and insurance and ICT, in what KRA’s Commissioner General Githii Mburu said will be to “avoid the risk of overtaxing,” the sectors.
“This input is invaluable especially at a time when Kenya is implementing strategic tax base expansion initiatives aimed at improving revenue collection through exploration of nascent sectors of the economy,” he said.
Active taxpayers Through the Tax Base Expansion strategy, KRA has lined up plans to onboard into its systems two million taxpayers by the end of the Financial Year 2023/2024. An addition to the current number of active taxpayers, which currently stands at 6.1 million.
“The digital economy is among industries that were earmarked in the tax base expansion drive and is currently chargeable on services offered within the country by nonresident companies via the digital marketplace,” Mburu disclosed.
KRA randomly audits returns in an effort to catch tax cheats and measure evasion – but such reviews turn up very little evidence of evasion among the extremely wealthy, in part because the rich and certain firms use highly advanced accounting techniques to dodge the taxman nets.